§ 19-1402.  Definitions.
   (1)   Association. A partnership, limited partnership, or any other form of unincorporated enterprise owned or conducted by two or more persons other than a private trust or decedent's estate.
   (2)   Certificate of transfer. An instrument representing the transfer of equitable ownership in real estate situate in Philadelphia.
   (3)   City. The City of Philadelphia.
   (4)   Corporation. A corporation, joint-stock association, business trust, or banking institution which is organized under the laws of this Commonwealth, the United States, or any other state, territory, foreign country or dependency.
   (5)   Department. The Department of Revenue of the City of Philadelphia.
   (6)   Document. 253 Any deed, instrument or writing which conveys, transfers, demises, vests, confirms or evidences any transfer or demise of title to real estate situate in Philadelphia presented for recording, but does not include wills, mortgages, deeds of trust or other instruments of like character given as security for a debt and deeds of release thereof to the debtor, land contracts whereby the legal title does not pass to the grantee until the total consideration specified in the contract has been paid or any cancellation unless the land contract is deemed a capital lease pursuant to subsection 19-1402(12)(b)(.1), or instruments which solely grant, vest or confirm a public utility easement. "Document" shall also include a Certificate of Transfer required to be presented for recording under this Chapter.
   (7)   Family farm corporation. A corporation of which at least seventy-five percent (75%) of its assets are devoted to the business of agriculture and at least seventy-five percent (75%) of each class of stock of the corporation is continuously owned by members of the same family. The business of agriculture shall not be deemed to include:
      (a)   Recreational activities such as, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, camping, skiing, show competition or racing;
      (b)   The raising, breeding or training of game animals or game birds, fish, cats, dogs or pets or animals intended for use in sporting or recreational activities;
      (c)   Fur farming;
      (d)   Stockyard and slaughterhouse operations; or
      (e)   Manufacturing or processing operations of any kind.
   (7.1)   Financially interdependent persons. Persons who live together as a single household and who, for at least six months, have agreed to share the common necessities of life and to be responsible for each other's common welfare. 254
   (8)   Members of the same family. Any individual, such individual's brothers and sisters, the brothers and sisters of such individual's parents and grandparents, the ancestors and lineal descendants of any of the foregoing, a spouse of any of the foregoing, and the estate of any of the foregoing. Individuals related by the halfblood or legal adoption shall be treated as if they were related by the wholeblood.
   (9)   Person. Every natural person, association, or corporation. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a fine or imprisonment, or both, the term "person" as applied to associations, shall include the responsible members or general partners thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
   (10)   Real estate.
      (a)   All lands, tenements or hereditaments within this City, including without limitation, buildings, structures, fixtures, mines, minerals, oil, gas, quarries, spaces with or without upper or lower boundaries, trees, and other improvements, immovables or interests which by custom, usage or law pass with a conveyance or land, but excluding permanently attached machinery and equipment in an industrial plant.
      (b)   A condominium unit.
      (c)   A tenant-stockholder's interest in a cooperative housing corporation, trust or association under a proprietary lease or occupancy agreement, except interest excluded under Section 19-1405.
   (11)   Real estate company. 255
      (a)   A corporation or association which is primarily engaged in the business of holding, selling or leasing real estate, ninety percent (90%) or more of the ownership interest in which is held by thirty-five or fewer persons and which:
         (.1)   derives sixty percent (60%) or more of its annual gross receipts from the ownership or disposition of real estate or title to real estate; or 256
         (.2)   holds real estate or title to real estate, the value of which comprises fifty percent (50%) or more of the value of its entire tangible asset holdings exclusive of tangible assets which are freely transferable and actively traded on an established market; or 257
      (b)   A corporation or association which holds, directly or indirectly, as ninety percent (90%) or more of the value of its assets, an interest in a real estate company.
      (c)   For purposes of this definition only, real estate shall not be limited to interests located within this City.
   (12)   Title to real estate. 258
      (a)   Any interest in real estate which endures for a period of time, the termination of which is not fixed or ascertained by a specific number of years, including without limitation, an estate in fee simple, life estate, or perpetual leasehold; or
      (b)   Any interest in real estate enduring for a fixed period of years but which, either by reason of the length of the term of the grant of a right to extend the term by renewal or otherwise, consists of a group of rights approximating those of an estate in fee simple, life estate or perpetual leasehold, including without limitation a leasehold interest or possessory interest under a lease or occupancy agreement for a term of thirty (30) years or more or a leasehold interest or possessory interest in real estate in which the lessee has equity.
         (.1)   Extension of Lease – In determining the term of a lease, it shall be presumed that a right or option to renew or extend a lease will be exercised if the rental charge to the lessee is fixed or if a method for calculating the rental charge is established.
   (13)   Transaction. The making, executing, delivering, accepting, or presenting for recording of a document.
   (14)   Value. 259
      (a)   In the case of any bona fide sale of real estate at arm's length for actual monetary worth, the amount of the actual consideration therefor, paid or to be paid; Provided, that where such documents to be recorded shall set forth a nominal consideration, the "value" thereof shall be determined from the price set forth in or actual consideration for the contract of sale; 260
      (b)   In the case of a gift of real estate where the transfer is not arms length, sale by execution upon a judgment or upon the foreclosure of a mortgage by a judicial officer, or upon a deed in lieu of foreclosure, transactions without consideration or for consideration less than the actual monetary worth of the real estate, a lease subject to tax pursuant to subsection 19-1402(12)(b), an occupancy agreement, a leasehold or possessory interest, any exchange of properties, a transfer by merger, consolidation, or acquisition, a transfer effectuated pursuant to a plan of liquidation and dissolution, or the real estate of an acquired real estate company that is a family farm corporation, the actual monetary worth of the real estate as determined by adjusting the assessed value of the real estate, as determined by the Board of Revision of Taxes for City real estate tax purposes, for the common level ratio factor for the City as established by the State Tax Equalization Board: Provided, that the value of real estate shall never be less than the readily ascertainable market value of any property (including cash) for which the real estate is exchanged; and provided, further, that this subsection (b) shall not apply to any exchange of real estate exclusively for property (including cash) with a readily ascertainable fair market value; 261
      (c)   In the case of an easement or other interest in real estate the value of which is not determinable under subsection (a) or (b), the actual monetary worth of such interest; or
      (d)   The actual consideration for or actual monetary worth of any executory agreement for the construction of buildings, structures or other permanent improvements to real estate between the grantor and other persons existing before the transfer and not removed thereby or between the grantor, the agent or principal of the grantor or a related corporation, association or partnership and the grantee existing before or effective with the transfer.
      (e)   In the case of the real estate of an acquired real estate company other than a family farm corporation, the monetary value of the real estate directly or indirectly held by the company. Where the change in ownership is part of a bona fide arm's length sale, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the monetary value is the actual consideration paid for the company, provided that the taxpayer may rebut that presumption by alternative proof of the actual value of the included real estate. 262
      (f)   As used in this subsection (14) ("Value"), the term "actual consideration" shall include any liens or other encumbrances on the real estate existing before the transfer and not removed thereby, whether or not the underlying indebtedness is assumed, and ground rents, or a commensurate part thereof where such liens or other encumbrances and ground rents also encumber or are charged against other real estate. 263

 

Notes

253
   Amended, 1988 Ordinances, p. 333.
254
   Added, Bill No. 070541 (approved November 15, 2007).
255
   Amended, 1988 Ordinances, p. 333; amended, Bill No. 960397 (approved July 5, 1996), 1996 Ordinances, p. 612; amended, Bill No. 980303 (approved December 9, 1999). Section 2 of Bill No. 980303 states: "This Ordinance shall be effective for all transactions taking place on or after July 1, 2000."
256
   Amended, Bill No. 160810 (approved December 20, 2016), effective July 1, 2017.
257
   Amended, Bill No. 160810 (approved December 20, 2016), effective July 1, 2017.
258
   Amended, 1988 Ordinances, p. 333; amended, 1993 Ordinances, p. 920.
259
   Amended, 1988 Ordinances, p. 333.
260
   Amended, Bill No. 190135 (approved May 15, 2019).
261
   Amended, Bill No. 040019 (approved June 10, 2004). Section 2 of Bill No. 040019 provides: "This Ordinance shall take effect commencing with transfers occurring on or after January 1, 2005." Amended, Bill No. 160810 (approved December 20, 2016), effective July 1, 2017.
262
   Added, Bill No. 160810 (approved December 20, 2016), effective July 1, 2017.
263
   Added, Bill No. 190135 (approved May 15, 2019).